Tommy Cole from bar group Dirty Martini has won a competition that challenged bartenders to create an original cocktail incorporating a unique use of ice.
He used ice to create a stunning Scandinavian-inspired drink at the final of the competition which was run by leading ice machine manufacturer Ice-O-Matic
His cocktail, Stockholm Syndrome, consisted of Scandinavian ingredients such as Koskenkorva Lingonberry Vodka, Brännland ice cider, Tåpped birch water and lingonberry and bilberry bitters.
They were assembled to match the blue and yellow of the Swedish flag with ice that was coloured deep blue and frozen at an angle to form a “divide”, infused with butterfly pea flowers and Miracle Berry powder.
The cocktail, pictured below, was garnished with two salted liquorice bon-bons dipped and frozen in sweet liquorice sauce on a yellow heart skewer.
One of the judges, Eoin Kenny, bar manager of Ham Yard Hotel in London, said: “I was impressed with Thomas’s use of ice and the way the flavour developed, revealing the citrus notes and also the value-add that the bon-bons offered which was a really great touch.
“The presentation was well thought through, spot on in terms of the brief and brilliantly related to the prize itself.”
Tommy, who is product innovation and development manager for the seven-strong Dirty Martini bars, has won a trip to Sweden’s striking IceHotel.
He was one of four finalists at the final held at the Imbibe Live show in London this week, compered by bartender Russell Burgess of Loves Company in east London.
In close second place was Maja Jaworska (pictured below) of White Lyan in Hoxton, London, with her Electric Blue Boogaloo delivering a delightful flavour and colour combination inspired by a Piña Colada. The judges were impressed by Maja’s precision, presentation and attention to detail.
Russell said: “The standard was sky high. All four contestants were superb and it was a tough call for the judges. The competitors kept totally on brief when it came to the innovative use of ice and we saw some real out-of-the-box creativity here. Thomas Cole has to be commended for his cocktail – it was a stunner.”
The judging panel also included Wendy Stoklasova from Oblix at The Shard in London and Clara-Louise Paul of Rocket Restaurants & Bars. They were looking for an inventive use of ice, a good balance of flavours and a clear and confident presentation of their creation to the audience.
Adam Lenton, marketing manager for Classeq which supplies Ice-O-Matic, said: “Original competitions like this encourage the industry to push boundaries. It’s easy to take ice for granted but what the contestants ably demonstrated here was that the use of ice can actually provide an incredible opportunity for creativity and theatre. I would like to say well done to all the contestants – they were an inspiration to everyone that was watching.”
Pictured top: Tommy is pictured centre with the Ice-O-Matic team: (left to right) regional manager Don Riezebos, sales director Nick Burridge, marketing assistant Louise Clark and marketing manager Adam Lenton.